A Brit who plunged into a crevasse while snowboarding has told the incredible story of how his iPhone saved his life.
Tim Blakely, 41, was boarding 10,000 feet up a Swiss mountain off-piste and alone when he fell 15 feet down a hidden gap in the ice.
He would have dropped farther and likely died had he not landed on a fragile snow bridge below.
Writing on Instagram on March 27, Blakely described how his iPhone’s Emergency SOS feature came to his rescue.
Activated using a few quick button presses, the tool automatically calls the local emergency number and sends them your location.
“This past week has been a wave of emotions and introspection and I’ve not really known what to do with this experience,” Blakely wrote.
“Thank you to @apple, their side button five click to emergency services – especially great when your screen is constantly being dripped on.”
Despite finding himself several feet below the surface of the ice, Blakely said he still had a 3G connection.
His phone was able to alert Swiss rescue services to his position even though he only had 3 percent of his battery power left.
It apparently took him 20 minutes to get hold of someone.
They told him not to move and, following the call, the New Zealand-born adrenaline junky gingerly took photos of what could have easily been his final resting place.
Forty-five minutes later, rescuers were able to haul the personal trainer out of the crevasse and he escaped the ordeal with only an injured ankle ligament.
Blakely said he has returned to London “relatively unharmed.”
Blakely said his phone saved his life and the thought of not having access to it at the time has been “keeping me up at night.”
He advised others not to be so careless.
“Seventeen years snowboarding, and the majority of those times spending a lot of the time solo and off-piste. Never solo again.”
“No matter how experienced you think you are, it is no joke.”
“I was lured into a false sense of security which also led me to be very blasé about researching the areas I snowboard.”
He added: “It’s not fair to say ‘my luck ran out’ because the circumstances of my survival clearly show I’ve cashed in every last luck token at my disposal.”
How to make an SOS call on iPhone
On iPhones without a Home Button:
- Press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears.
- Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services. If you continue to hold down the side button and Volume button, instead of dragging the slider, a countdown begins and an alert sounds.
- If you hold down the buttons until the countdown ends, your iPhone automatically calls emergency services.
On iPhone 7 or earlier:
- Rapidly press the side button five times. The Emergency SOS slider will appear.
- Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services.
- If you started an emergency call by accident, press the Stop button, then tap Stop Calling.
After the call ends, your iPhone will ping the emergency service with your current location, unless you choose to cancel.
If Location Services is off, it will temporarily turn on.
If your location changes, your contacts will get an update, and you’ll get a notification about 10 minutes later.
To stop the updates, tap the status bar and select “Stop Sharing Emergency Location.”
If you keep sharing, you’ll get a reminder to stop every four hours for 24 hours.
This story originally appeared on the Sun and was reproduced here with permission.